Because of the generosity of legendary Dartmouth rugby "coach" Corey Ford, and gifts from alumni of over $1 million, Dartmouth rugby now boasts one of the nation's premier rugby facilities.
Dedicated in late September along with the adjacent Battle practice field and Brophy field, the 6,500-square-foot clubhouse is home to both the men's and women's teams. It features locker rooms for both, a trophy room, kitchen, referee room and a club room with a fireplace.
"Having a clubhouse brings us together more closely as teammates," says Jesse Blom '06, team captain of the Dartmouth Rugby Football Club (DRFC). "The most unique aspect of the clubhouse," he added, "is the camaraderie that is developing between the men's and the women's teams. Before, the two teams rarely came into contact with one another. With the new facility, the men and women are becoming much closer, and together we are building a stronger rugby community at Dartmouth."
Over 700 rugby alumni and their families attended dedication weekend events. Activities included a golf tournament, a formal dinner, alumni matches and official games by Dartmouth's current squads.
The event was covered by Rugby Magazine, which in its October issue praised the new facility:
"Dartmouth's striking clubhouse and two magnificent fields, set against the the green New Hampshire hills, has raised the bar significantly."
Ford was a writer who moved to Hanover in 1952, just one year after the DRFC was founded. He lived right next to the rugby fields and took an interest in the sport, opening his home to the players in 1955. A patron of the team and an avid fan, Ford described his unique relationship with the team by saying, "I am hailed as 'Coach' for want of a better title."
By JOEL AALBERTS
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Last Updated: 5/30/08